Greyhounds

a beautiful Greyhound outside looking off into the distance

Greyhounds are a dog breed that have been around for centuries. Greyhounds are large, powerful dogs that originated in Europe, though there is confusion exactly where they were bred. They were originally bred to be hunting dogs, but today they are popular family pets. Greyhounds are known for their gentle and loving personality, making them an ideal choice for any family looking for a loyal companion.

Greyhounds are tall and slender, with long legs and a deep chest. They typically weigh between 50 and 85 pounds, and stand between 24 and 30 inches tall. Greyhounds have short coats that come in a variety of colors, including black, white, red, brindle, fawn and blue.

Greyhounds are known for their speed and agility. They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, making them the fastest breed of dogs. Despite their speed, Greyhounds are actually quite calm and relaxed when not running. They are content to lounge around the house or take leisurely walks. They are considered to be gentle giants, and are very friendly towards people.

Greyhounds are very athletic dogs, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch. They are also very good at catching balls and retrieving items. They are very intelligent, and enjoy learning tricks.

Greyhounds are very loyal and loving dogs. They are also very patient and tolerant of training. They are also very calm and laid back, and adapt well to living with other pets. They are very affectionate and enjoy being close to their family.

Greyhounds require a lot of exercise, and enjoy long walks and runs. They are also very fast and will need a safe place to run off-leash. If you plan to let them out, you should consider getting a harness or collar that allows them to run free. A leash can be used to help control their speed.

At first your Greyhound will want to spend every waking minute with you. With training, they will become accustomed to staying alone and can be comfortable in the company of family or on their own. This breed is good with children, but skittish around strangers, and socializing them will be important. 

Due to their single coat and lack of body fat, they don’t handle temperature extremes well. Also because of their low body fat, Greyhounds prefer to sleep on something soft as opposed to a hard floor.

Greyhounds make excellent family pets. They are loyal and affectionate, and they get along well with children and other animals. Greyhounds don’t need  much grooming. They have short coats that don’t need to be brushed or trimmed that often. They also don’t shed all that much, making them a great choice for those with allergies.

Overall, Greyhounds make wonderful family pets. They are gentle, loyal and loving, and they get along well with children and other animals. Greyhounds require minimal grooming and exercise, making them a great choice for those looking for an easy-to-care-for companion.

Greyhound Information

  • Average Height: 25 to 30 inches
  • Average Length: 24 to 33 inches  
  • Average Weight: 50 to 85 pounds
  • Coat Type: Short length
  • Coat Appearance: Smooth-coat that is easy to care for.
  • Coat Colors: Fawn, black, red, gray, or white.
  • Grooming Needs: Medium
  • Shedding: Medium 
  • Brushing Requirements: They have to be brushed two times a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes, they are sensitive and can react if touched unexpectedly.
  • Excessive Barking: No
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No
  • Good Pet: Though they are less active, they are friendly and calm, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: They are patient with children, so yes!
  • Good with Other Dogs: Moderate, as they have a tendency to see other smaller animals or pets as prey.
  • Good with Other Pets: No
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: They are not very active, so yes.
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: No
  • Training: Though they are intelligent they can be stubborn at times which can make it slightly difficult to train them in the beginning.
  • Exercise Needs: Daily 
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: Anesthesia sensitivity, Hypothyroidism, Osteosarcoma, and Gastric torsion
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 10 to 15 years

Physical Appearance of Greyhounds

a multi colored Greyhound sitting outside

They have a muscular body with a long head and neck. Their chest is deep and it arches up to their narrow waist.They have long and powerful legs. Their entire body has a streamlined look that helps them while sprinting.

Greyhounds have a small dark-colored nose at the end of a long and slightly narrow snout. Adult Greyhounds eyes are dark, either a dark brown or black. Their ears usually lay flat against their head but can sometimes stand erect when they are attentive or excited. They have a long tail that tapers and is slightly bent upwards.

They have a short length coat that is smooth and doesn’t need very much grooming. It can be one of a variety of colors like fawn, black, red, gray, or white. Some Greyhounds will have a brindle patterned coat with a combination of white and other colors.

Temperament of Greyhounds

Greyhounds are known to have a kind and quiet temperament. They are receptive to children and will mostly be calm and happy in a family environment. They are friendly and affectionate towards their family. It is pretty common for them to act timidly when meeting strangers.

Greyhounds are not very active and can sleep for hours during the day. They have been known to sleep for as long as 18 hours a day!

Though they are friendly with other dogs or pets of similar sizes, they can sometimes get aggressive with smaller pets, especially rodents and cats. They look at them as prey. If you want to have cats with Greyhounds it is better to get the cats first. Then your Greyhound will grow up with them and view them as family and not prey.

Training a Greyhound

a Greyhound outside running at full speed

Training a Greyhound can be a little difficult at times because they are stubborn and independent. The difficulty will also depend upon whether you have adopted a puppy or a retired racing dog. Training puppies is a lot easier than training a retired racing dog.

Greyhounds are known for being sensitive and it’s best to be patient with them. You have to be consistent and patient with them without getting angry while training them. The best way is to use positive reinforcement (rewards and praise) while training them.

Kennel Training

Kennel training will be easy for retired dogs because they are already used to staying in a kennel. For puppies, you will have to teach them how to get inside and stay in the kennel. Like all dogs, they will eventually get used to a kennel and likely view it as a safe space.

Clicker Training

Greyhounds need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

You might find it difficult to get around with teaching them the ‘sit’ command. This is because sitting is somewhat uncomfortable for them. Due to their slim body, they will try to balance on their tail. Now that you know this isn’t very comfortable for them, hopefully you will not ask them to do this often.

Early Socialization Training

a golden Greyhound standing in a tall grassy field

Early socialization is absolutely necessary for Greyhounds. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. By being exposed to so many things it will help interact more confidently with others and not be so skittish with strangers or other dogs. Be careful while making them meet smaller pets because they may view them as prey.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy.

Their Compatibility with Children

Greyhounds are calm and tolerant while dealing with children. They are not known to become aggressive or bark when kids are around. It seems many naturally love kids because of how fast they develop a bond with children. They like the attention they get while playing, a big reason why they love playing with children. They can be quite tolerant and forgiving if children get a little aggressive when cuddling or holding them.

Teach your children not to play too rough with them. Greyhounds are sensitive and have a very muscular body, they can become hurt if people roughhouse with them. For the first several interactions between your children and your Greyhound an adult should be around when they are playing to make sure they play together OK.

Best Climate for Greyhounds

A moderate climate is best for Greyhounds. The ideal temperature for them is between 65 to 80 degrees because their body can’t tolerate extreme temperatures very well. They only have a single coat and don’t have much body fat. Because they have very little body fat they get very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. If it’s too hot or too cold outside you should bring your Greyhound inside so they can be comfortable.

Did you know that keeping them outside in freezing temperatures for more than 15 minutes can lead to frostbite? In severe cases, it can lead to death. If you want to take them outside in the cold for more than just a few minutes they will need a coat to stay warm.

The Attention a Greyhound Needs

a Greyhound playing outside with a puppy

Greyhounds need a lot of attention. Some can be quite clingy and follow family around the house. Greyhounds are less active and low energy breeds but they do require daily physical activity to stay fit.

They need at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise time each day, either through play or being taken out for walks. Playing around in the backyard and going for long walks is what they enjoy the most. Because Greyhounds have hunter instincts, keeping them on a leash will keep them from running off or after another animal.

Whether you get a puppy or a retired racing Greyhound you should not leave them alone for the first few weeks you have them. In the beginning, they will look for your attention all the time but after a few days, they will be fine staying alone for a few hours.

Because they spend most of their time sleeping, they won’t have a problem being left alone while the family is out at work or school. However in some Greyhounds it could lead to separation anxiety. A visible sign for this would be a lack of excitement towards the family members when the dog meets them after being alone for a few hours.

Health Issues

Overall, the Greyhounds are a healthy breed of dogs. Unlike other breeds, there are no hereditary diseases that can be found in Greyhounds on a large scale.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common health condition in dogs that causes weight gain, behavioral changes, skin and coat problems. The condition occurs when a dog’s thyroid gland isn’t creating enough thyroid hormones to regulate their body’s metabolism. 

The thyroid gland is located in their neck, close to the windpipe. The gland is responsible for regulating the metabolism. When the thyroid becomes underactive their metabolism slows down and hypothyroidism occurs.

Hypothyroidism is caused by two diseases. One is lymphocytic thyroiditis, an immune-mediated disease where the dog’s immune system mistakes the thyroid as foreign and starts attacking it. We don’t know why this happens but lymphocytic thyroiditis is the most common reason for hypothyroidism in dogs. 

The other disease that causes hypothyroidism is idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy where their fat tissue replaces the normal thyroid tissue. The cause of this disease is also unknown.

95% of hypothyroidism is caused by these two diseases, and the other 5% by rare diseases like thyroid gland cancer. Whatever the cause, the symptoms and treatments of hypothyroidism are usually the same.

Osteosarcoma

Canine osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that affects a dog’s bones. It’s the most common primary bone tumor in dogs and accounts for 85% of all canine bone tumors. Osteosarcoma typically affects large dog breeds, but can occur in any breed. Large breed dogs like German Shepherds, Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers have a history of osteosarcoma.

The cause of canine osteosarcoma is unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetics and environmental factors.

Canine osteosarcoma is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, but with early diagnosis and treatment, many dogs can live for years after diagnosis. It’s important to take your dog to the vet if you notice any of the symptoms associated with osteosarcoma, with early detection and treatment you can greatly improve their prognosis.

Bloat or Gastric Torsion

Canine bloat or gastric torsion is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect any dog breed. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms so that you can seek medical attention for your pet as soon as possible if they have any of them. Bloat or gastric torsion occurs when the stomach becomes filled with gas, fluid, and/or food.

This causes the stomach to twist on itself, cutting off the blood supply to the organs and leading to shock.

Symptoms of Canine Bloat or Gastric Torsion

The most common symptoms of canine bloat or gastric torsion include:

  • Restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Distention
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to burp or pass gas

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to get medical attention immediately because the condition can be fatal if not treated quickly.

It’s important to note that some dogs may not show any signs until the condition has become severe.

Anesthesia Sensitivity

Canine anesthesia sensitivity is an important consideration when it comes to the safety of your pet during any surgical procedure. Dogs, just like humans, can have varying levels of sensitivity to anesthetic drugs and this can affect how they respond to the drugs used in surgery.

The most common type of anesthesia used in dogs is inhalant anesthesia, which is administered through a mask or tube placed over the dog’s nose and mouth. This type of anesthesia is generally considered to be the safest for dogs, because it allows the veterinarian to control the amount of anesthetic given and monitor the dog’s response.

Inhalant anesthesia can cause side effects in some dogs, such as vomiting, drooling, or restlessness. If your pet is particularly sensitive to anesthetics, your veterinarian may recommend a different type of anesthesia, such as injectable or intravenous anesthesia.

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

a Greyhound playing in a grassy field

Greyhounds’ short coat has minimum grooming needs. Brushing them twice a week should be enough to take care of the moderate shedding. Use a rubber brush or a soft bristle brush to gently remove any loose fur. They’ll need a bath about once a month to be kept clean. Use only a dry dog shampoo because it will help keep their coat clean and smooth.

Check their ears once a week for the build-up of wax or dirt. Clean their ears if there is any build-up to reduce the chances of infection. Their nails will need to be trimmed about every other week. Shorter nails will keep your dog from scratching your floors or hurting itself or anyone while running around and playing with them.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding a Greyhound

a close up of dog food

Adult male Greyhounds need 2.5 to 4 cups and adult females need 1.5 to 3 cups of dog food every day. This should be divided into two meals during the day. Depending upon the activity your dog does during the day, the amount you feed them may vary a little.

Because Greyhounds are not very active and spend most of the time sleeping during the day, overfeeding them can cause them to gain weight.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your Greyhound. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

Related Questions:

Are Greyhounds the Fastest Dog Breed?

Yes, they are the fastest dog breed in the world. Though they may seem to be slow and calm at home, Greyhounds can sprint as fast as 45 miles per hour when on the field. Their great speed is possible because of their athletic build. They have strong, long legs and a lean body with a slim frame. They were built for speed.

Do Greyhounds Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

Yes, sometimes Greyhounds will sleep with their eyes open. You should check your dog when they are lying down with their eyes open. It can look like they are awake but they might actually be sleeping. To ensure that you do not startle them when they are sleeping, train your children and others to call out their name before touching them.

How Wide is the Vision of a Greyhound?

Greyhounds have a field of vision of 270 degrees. Their wide range of vision allows them to see the objects behind them without needing to turn their head. Most other dog breeds only have a field of vision of 180 degrees. However, an interesting thing to note is that despite their wide vision they have stereoscopic vision. This means they can see moving objects better than stationary objects.

Do Greyhounds Need some type of Bedding when They Sleep?

While it is not required for them, it will greatly add to their comfort while sleeping. Because this breed has almost no body fat, it can be uncomfortable for them to lay on hard surfaces to sleep. Something soft to lay onis always much better for them especially when they’re older.